Cert: TBA Runtime: 101 mins Director: Julian Jarrold Starring: Sienna Miller, Toby Jones, Penelope Winton and Imelda Staunton
Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints
Currently Alfred Hitchcock’s life is being put on the big screen and TV. Anthony Hopkins will portray Hitch in a new film coming soon, but first of all step in Toby Jones into the fat suit. Hitchcock is one of my favourite directors of all time, he really is a master of suspense and shock. But what kind of a man was he? After filming Psycho he moved to work on this new film The Birds, and a few tales came out about Hitch. So HBO released a TV movie called The Girl.Alfred Hitchcok (Toby Jones) has come of the recent success of Psycho now wants to make his follow up The Birds. While watching TV Alma (Imelda Staunton) notices a blonde named Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) in a commercial, she gets called in to audition and ends up getting the main part. Everything seems to be going OK when filming begins but soon Hitchcock’s real ambitions start to show, they start when he kisses her in the back of limo which she did not want to happen causing her to run away in anger. This spirals on to become a horrific experience for Tippi, can she escape form the claws of Hitchcock?
The lousy script gives him a few moments of humanity, which come across more as self pity than pathos. But otherwise he’s domineering, stingy sadist who subjects Hedren to dozens of takes in “The Birds” in which live birds are forced to attack her. She endures bird bites. Her only reward — celebrity, cinematic immortality, and a salary that was about a million times what you and I make. I felt sympathy for her mistreatment but would have traded places with her in an instant. As a result of this abuse, she’s directed by her doctor to take five days off. Everyone on the set frets because this is costing money. But when she’s recovered, she swings onto the set, flings away her coat, faces the camera with a brave grin, and announces, “Let’s finish this movie.” Everyone on the set applauds her dedication and courage.Toby Jones once again plays a famous figure as someone else in the same year, his performance of Hitchcock doesn’t change much which means he is able to nail it in the first couple of minutes continuing through the film to play a character without any development maybe at the end when he sees the girl go away. Sienna Miller has never been known for her acting skills but with her performance of Tippi Hedren I was surprised how much I connected with the performance.
She played Tippi as a scared women who thinks she cannot do anything. If you look at actual film of these two film Sienna does a great job of recreating some of these scenes. The film had many problems because the story seemed very unrealistic and underdeveloped only trying to get us to believe one story in what Hedren said instead of what Hitchcock might have said.The direction matches the script and the acting. The screen is full of monstrous and very meaningful close ups. In case you might miss the importance of a particular point, the camera dollies in for that close up. They’re usually of Hitch’s stony face or Hedren’s frightened one.Donald Spoto, who wrote a candid but sympathetic biography of Hitchcock, was a script consultant and, by and large, the story follows historical reality, in so far as that can be determined through the testimony of Tippi Hedren. It’s her story, and both Hitchcock and most of his friends are now dead and in no position to object. Of the private encounters between Hedren and Hitch, I believe about half.I don’t know why it was left out of the script but by the end of “Marnie,” Hedren’s second film with Hitchcock, Hitch was guzzling booze by the barrel. Well, it’s not exactly left out. There is one scene of Hitch drunk.But why go on? This shabby affair doesn’t deserve more attention.